#64 | Hiding, Was Inappropriate and In Legal Trouble

May 10, 2022

Watch the webclass, "4-Part Roadmap to Encourage Adulting Actions."

Get the Preview of the workbook, When Autism Grows Up by Lynn C Davison, Adulting Coach, Available in Fall 2022.

Download, "The Quick Start Guide to STEAR Mapping"



Hi, it's Lynn your adulting coach.

Have you ever worried about your son getting or daughter getting into trouble with a legal system? It happens.

Marilyn Lowe Jones at The Art of Adulting shared that her son is now hiding because he was inappropriate and is in legal trouble. What do we do now?

Well, we follow Barb Avila's process because it gets us to a good place.

  • We understand what's happening.
  • We connect with ourselves and with our autistic young adults
  • Then we figure out what the practice is next.

I was amazed when I found out that two in 10 prisoners and three in 10 jail inmates report having a cognitive disability. The autistic and otherwise alternative learning population is overrepresented in our prison and jail systems.

It's a result of what it is that happens when you have an autistic brain or an alternative brain.

I know I wrote down what those struggles were. And they're not here. And so I'm going to I'm going to have to just cheat and look, because I know I wrote these narratives, okay, so they start with the legal troubles that legal troubles can start with let me just download this really fast. I'm so unhappy with myself that I don't have this on here. But hey, you guys understand what you know sometimes the struggles that we have need to be visible, because then we understand that we're not alone. We all have struggles. And so I am just going to do this right now. Okay, so let's put that right in there. All right.

Our legal troubles from alternative learners and our autistic young adults come from, no surprise, their communication skills. Sometimes they're, their inflexible thinking. They're inflexible thinking. And because those communication and people skills, their actions get misrepresented, misinterpreted by others.

At the same time, I just want to mention, because I think this is important that we have been warning our autistic and adults about some of these troubles. And I just read this book yesterday and found this quote and was amazed because this is a book about how to how to maintain a positive mindset. And the author was beating himself up, " Until and unless I am willing to receive wise counsel from those who know things I don't I will continue to struggle in myopic misery."

Doesn't that nail what we see happening with our autistic young adults sometimes they are so resistant to what we want them to learn, not just us, but you know, many other people have offered to help them in this realm and they have resisted our help. So that's how we got here.

It's really important that we understand that, you know, this is this is one of those consequences of having a differently wired brain in a society that doesn't get it.

So I love this book by and I'm gonna make this bigger because it's hard to read the quote, but this book, REFRAME YOUR AUTISM by Holly Bridges, who's just just a wonderful advocate for autistic people everywhere.

She says we need to remember that we need to keep our focus open and there's two artists are very good at knowing what they can't do and are generally very self-negative. They have learned not to expect much. The goal so our goal then is to diminish the hardwired "I can't," and "No," and replace it with a yes and I just think that's so well said thank you so much Holly bridges for publishing this book, reframing your thinking around autism. I think she has a perspective that's worth worth looking at.

So as we look at that, we say to ourselves, what is it that we need to understand better. What is the tool that we use to connect. This is the the tool. When we understand how our autistic young adults are thinking we can have a much better connection with them. We can truly help problem solve together.

But until we are able to slow things down, lower our arousal and come with a loving approach. It's hard for them to open up it's hard hard for them to feel safe. I mean, there's they're so self deprecating.

They then project that on to us, it's your fault. And it's understandable when you when we think about okay, there's the system in the back the biological system in our brain that just keeps our heart beating. Then there's the mammalian brain, which is our limbic system, which is the fight or flight system that keeps us safe, keeps us conserving our resources and keeps us connected with the tribe.

That's what's happening often with our autistic young adults, so they go into that fight or flight mode and really aren't in a learning place. That's what happens when they can connect with their prefrontal cortex.

The best way we can do that with them is by understanding more of their thinking. 

I argue that the other tool we have to practice all the time is reflective listening, and that's when we reflect back to them. "It seems like you're upset because you aren't getting your needs met."

That's just a general reflection, but you know, they share a lot of frustration with us and it's just so important for them to to have us tell them you know, give them a good reflective, a good reflection so that the words can be put to the thinking that's going on in their head like a washing machine where it's just spinning around and around.

The more we can catch, you know, a thought a piece of laundry and separating it from the others, we can better look at it and understand what it is but when it's in that spin cycle, it's really hard to distinguish what's going on.

So that's what helps us better connect with them. And it's a tool we use ourselves so that we get that low arousal level, so that we get slow things down, so that we are loving toward ourselves as well because it's it's heart wrenching to see our autistic young adults in the legal system because they don't accept that as an excuse often.

Well, they're autistic. That's why they said what they said that's why they did what they did. And it's frustrating that the legal system doesn't recognize that there's a good reason for the behavior. And it wasn't you know, there's a logical explanation due to the kind of brain they get.

Unfortunately, because the legal system doesn't recognize that we ended up with these statistics where  many that the alternative learners are over represented in the legal system.

What do we do now? Well, I just think that we keep practicing the mindset skill of noticing where our thoughts are, which is the STEAR Map, and we keep reflecting, reflecting, reflecting which is the listening actively. That's the people skills. Those are the two skills that I think are critical in a situation where our child child is, you know, hiding and afraid of what happened and doesn't know how to find their way out of the system.

Of course, we need to collaborate with what is the very next thing that we're going to do and that collaborative problem solving process. So collaborative, proactive solutions that Ross Greene advocates at his website is the approach that I would take in this case, and I'm sorry, I don't have my slide there.

So please come to WhenAutismGrowsUp.com. It'll connect you right to my website, and you'll be able to find the free webinar that I created that outlines exactly this is two of the force parts of the IMAP process that I believe is going to help us help our autistic young adults create a life they love that works. And when we apply it to our lives, it works for us as well. And it can it can really make all the difference in the world.

I hope to see you there. Bye for now.